My favorite time to negotiate a deal is when I’m already in contract for it.
Yes, I try and do some back and forth on price beforehand, but I’ve always felt that my leverage is much greater once I’m the only one the seller can talk to. The worst that a seller can do when you ask for an enormous credit is to say “No!” or maybe give you a mean scowl.
In either case, saving tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is certainly worth a good scowl. I’ve used several methods to obtain credit requests through the years and have compiled some of the most effective methods below.
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The Top 5 Ways to Negotiate Major Credits on Your Property
5. Offer to sit down with the seller in person.
Negotiating in person can often help your case. Be friendly, respectful — and most of all, reasonable. The most effective negotiators are willing to make concessions in order to get a deal done.
4. Have your contractor bid every single thing in the house that needs — or could need — fixing.
You should do this regardless of whether or not you are going to ask for a credit.
Things in homes break and wear down — particularly when tenants live there. It is important to budget for these impending costs. It is also important to ask for the seller to pay for them. My favorite things to have the contractor bid are the roof, new dual pane windows, a new furnace and ducting, and then also electrical.
The key here is to not just rely on your inspector. Hire a contractor to get to the property and give in depth bids on all the items.
It also carries more weight when the bid comes from someone who works as a general contractor.
3. Get bids from two different contractors.
Particularly when dealing with REO deals or Short Sales, make sure to include two different contractor bids. It is important to show lots of evidence for why you are requesting a credit. Contractor bids can have large variances, so having more bids helps your case.
Contractor relationships are very important in the single-family home business, so make sure not to waste your contractor’s time — or at least compensate them for bids that don’t turn into work.
2. Inform the seller that they will need to disclose all of the bids and reports you give them to the next buyer, even if they reject your request for a credit.
In other words, they are going to pay for these repairs one way or the other, so they might as well give you the credit now and be done with it.
This is definitely a tough negotiating ploy, but it is very effective. If your goal is to make money, then you should use it.
1. Tell the seller that if they accept your credit request, you will have all of your deposit money go hard, and you will remove contingencies.
There is only so far you can push people without them fighting back.
This is a great tactic because it proves to them that you are dead serious about buying the property, and it also means that you won’t be able to go back and ask for more money off later. At this point they are probably so sick of negotiating with you that they would pay you just to leave them alone – which you will, just right after they give you that big ol’ credit request!
Do you play hardball when it comes to credit requests? What would you add to my top 5 list?
Join in the conversation below!